The World Plumbing Day celebrations held at the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre (PICAC) recently saw the unveiling of the first stage construction of a world-class training facility in Geelong as well as a new industry partnership to deliver plumbing apprenticeship skills.

PICAC CEO Shayne La Combre said that the announcements will ensure Victoria remained at the top of providing innovative training and skills development for all plumbers.

According to Mr La Combre, the new Certificate III in Plumbing Apprenticeship qualification was delivered in February 2015 at PICAC’s Centre in Melbourne with training delivery overseen by the board of a new partnership organisation, Plumbing Industry Training (PIT). The new training opportunity enables apprentices to learn their trade on the most up-to-date plumbing and related industry equipment in a world-class, industry owned and run training facility.

The World Plumbing Day was also an occasion to launch the first stage construction of the new Trade Development Centre for PICAC. The new multimillion dollar training centre in Geelong will have dedicated training rooms equipped with state-of-the-art IT and audio visual equipment, as well as machinery and operating areas to enable apprentices to gain hands-on experience in all aspects of plumbing. The centre is expected to open at the end of October 2015.

The plumbing apprenticeship has been set up to train the group scheme apprentices employed by Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria. All apprentices must have completed the Certificate II in Plumbing (Pre-apprenticeship), which is also delivered at PICAC with the PIT Board consisting of representatives from the Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association and the Plumbing Trades Employees Union.

Master Plumbers Association CEO Ken Gardner explains that it is important to ensure plumbing training keeps pace with industry, given the continuously evolving skill requirements of the plumbing industry, and new and innovative products and systems emerging all the time, particularly relating to water use and reuse.

Delegates attending the World Plumbing Day included senior Government Ministers and industry representatives such as Minister for Training and Skills, The Honourable Steve Herbert; Minister for Planning, The Honourable Richard Wynne; Minister for Industrial Relations, The Honourable Natalie Hutchins; Alan Ross, CEO of Construction and Property Services Industry Skills Council; Ken Gardner, CEO Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association and Earl Setches, Secretary Plumbing Trades Employees Union and PICAC chair.

World Plumbing Day is held on March 11 each year to mark the vital role played by the plumbing sector in maintaining global health.